My feedback on the new "Confluence experience"

Suzanne Thompson September 20, 2017

Let me preface this with saying the following:

I have been working with Confluence for a long time, but I am not adverse to change. I work in IT and the products/services offered by the IT industry change constantly.  What I am adverse to is bad change...and this entire post covers my opinions concerning what I believe to be a very bad change.

  1. The new interface is not easy or intuitive to navigate around.  This observation comes from multiple technical people (I work for a software company), some who have worked with it for a long time, some who are new to using it.
  2. The navigational tree's usefulness has been diminished with less control over which elements are displayed and how.
  3. The drag and drop functionality, while it could be useful, can potentially cause further problems.
  4. I find that, on occasion, when I search for a page using the Search button in the navigational tree that I know is there, when I try to click the link, it tells me the page doesn't exist (although it was returned within the search parameters AND I can navigate to it through a bookmark or direct URL).
  5. When you edit the navigational tree and ADD space shortcuts, you cannot see the ones you added until you save. This led me to add 3 of the same one, thinking it just wasn't being added.
  6. The lack of any method to "revert" back to the previous "experience", combined with the various bugs, issues, difficulties and annoyances, make the "experience" of using Confluence even more annoying.
  7. The general theme is clunky and IMO ugly.
  8. Atlassian should have spent more time in adding to the functionality (macros, formatting abilities for the WYSIWYG, etc.) and less time on redesigning the entire product. More and better macros are always welcome.

In short, we absolutely loathe the changes to your product, finding it far less useful and far more time consuming to work with.

13 answers

1 vote
Dave Todaro October 9, 2017

I agree with all the points made above. This is the first time in 5 years of using Atlassian products that I'm seriously considering finding an alternative. 

*Every* one of my team members--many of whom are technical, many of whom are non-technical--is dramatically slowed down by this update due to the difficulty in navigating.

We have over 1,100 pages of internal process documentation for every aspect of our business, with a heavy emphasis on page tree navigation, and my team members now have a very difficult time trying to find things.

Every single one of my team members is now discussing how to get around the limitations of Confluence instead of focusing on producing results for our clients.

I'm going to show them all how to revert back to the "classic" user interface so they can get some work done.


0 votes
Russell Robinson
I'm New Here
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April 3, 2019

OMG, this started in 2017!!

It's now April 2019 and this "new confluence experience" still lacks the features of the old experience.

I just wasted 10 minutes trying to figure out how to put a diagram into the "new experience".

Really, really, bad.

I was enjoying it for basic documents, but so much that you need is simply missing.

Another one is linking to another place in the same document.

Atlassian - how about removing it until it covers what the old experience already has?

0 votes
Lauren Pennisi October 27, 2017

I have burned almost an entire busy day trying to fix the formatting on a Confluence page and cannot. It's important content for our team. Is there still a button to click to revert to the previous Confluence UI?

0 votes
Caroline Bartle
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
October 22, 2017

Hi @Suzanne Thompson and all others following this thread,

I'm a product manager on Confluence. Firstly, thank you for your posts and your feedback. Input from our customers about the new Confluence experience is vitally important in helping us identify problems and determine where we should focus our efforts to improve the product.

In particular, we've received plenty of feedback from customers about the new navigation, its intuitiveness, and the amount of navigational concepts we introduced with the update (e.g. moving all navigation to the left, introducing a Confluence sidebar apart from the global navigation, and nested navigation in the space sidebar). I can understand and empathise that these modifications represent a massive change from the previous navigation.

I can promise you that we're continuing to review feedback about the navigation of the new experience, and conduct user testing of modifications and alternate solutions. With these inputs, we'll evolve the navigation and we hope to make it more intuitive, and more useful for our customers. 

@Suzanne Thompson in regards to the issues you've experienced with the search functionality and adding space shortcuts, I'm unable to reproduce these. Please can you log these with our support team, so that they can take a closer look at your site?

0 votes
Rob Shaw October 12, 2017

So the first bug that we found that is KILLING US! - The dashboard is set as default page, and no option available under profile to change it to team board.  Old profile was set to boards. 

1. Dashboards taking forever to load - Which is OK, but when forced as my default page the frustration is amplified. 

2. Teams already complaining about the extra navigation

0 votes
Rob Shaw October 12, 2017

Not going to restate the above.. Just simply Bump!

0 votes
Dave Todaro October 9, 2017

Oops. I just noticed one of the previous posters pointed out you can no longer opt out of the new experience, and I see that is the case, by looking over one of my team members' shoulders just now. (I opted out several weeks ago and immediately became much more productive.)

0 votes
Suzanne Thompson September 22, 2017

Well, looks like all of the comments are back. 


I concur with all of the comments posted. This is not a good change Atlassian.

0 votes
Doug Erickson
I'm New Here
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September 21, 2017

In my experience, it just seems a lot slower all around. From loading up the initial home screen to navigation, searching and everything else. I spend more time now waiting for a page to load that it actually takes me to read the information I was looking for. 

0 votes
Rick Baker September 21, 2017

I concur with the common thread here, the update and the changes have added frustration to my daily use of Confluence.

Impacting tasks that were normally routine, now are troublesome and very sluggish by comparison to the previous version.

0 votes
Sharon Morgan September 21, 2017

Completely agree. I spend a lot of my time in Confluence every day, and most tasks now take longer to perform. Navigating to anywhere is more clicks (sometimes many more). It's less efficient than it was before, and I find myself having to open/close the side bar regularly now.

Also agree with #8 - why they spent so much time making it look different, and changing their logos, rather than on core functionality and making things work better (like basic Excel integration, table functions, etc) I have no idea.

And it's buggy. When you publish pages, sometimes they continue to display the "unpublished changes" tag for no reason. This morning it stopped displaying the correct page size in Firefox (it thinks my window is tiny, so about 1/2 the page is filled). So frustrating.

I work in IT and I'm used to change, and usually embrace change as things are usually made better. I now find myself cursing Atlassian several times a day at the lack of efficiency, and looking at more of the O365 tools to see if we can design a path off of Confluence and JIRA.

0 votes
Suzanne Thompson September 21, 2017

I'm not saying thank you either. This so-called "update" has decreased our productivity, increased our costs, increased our frustration levels and in general, made the usefulness of Confluence far less than it ever has been in the past.

0 votes
Bruno Miretti September 21, 2017

Totally agree with you, mainly for point 8.

I do not stop discovering bugs with the new UI (last one was 10 minutes ago and it prevents me from sharing a page with a group if more than 8 usernames contain the group name in their username... coded with feet!) and I do not stop trying to find workarounds to the features removed with the last UI.

Yesterday night I received an email about Identity manager, a new utility we will have to pay 3$ per month per user to manage password policies, and we receive this after the 1,5x price increase we had recently and with less licenses. Seeing this I understand now why there are so many bugs I discover while navigating as an anonymous user: this has not been tested ! And with the introduction of Identity manager I can understand why: anonymous users do not bring back money.

I do not see any new feature introduced with the new "shiny" UI, only less features and more bugs, more clicks to find what I need, all the customization I made gone with the wind...

And today, we cannot "opt out" anymore... We already thought about migrating to another software, I think it's now time to think about this more seriously.

I don't say thank you Atlassian product managers

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